There are two distinct gaming markets in Las Vegas. One is the tourist corridor. This consists of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown around the Fremont Street Experience. The other is the locals market. These include some resorts that are near the Strip that appeal equally to locals and tourists. Most locals casinos in Las Vegas are unknown to tourists.
These locals casinos have many advantages to the Las Vegas Strip. This is especially true for tourists looking to take a Las Vegas vacation on a budget.
The hotel prices at locals casinos are the first noticeable difference. These are discovered long before arriving in Las Vegas. Hotel prices at off-strip casinos tend to be at least half what Strip resorts charge and are often cheaper than the least expensive options available downtown, especially on weekends.
The casino games at locals casinos will appeal to most tourists in town to gamble. The minimum bet for table games is always $5 at locals joints. You will rarely find 6-5 blackjack at these casinos because locals have too many options to put up with that. Off strip blackjack always allows double down after splitting on double deck and shoe games. Many offer surrender and the ability to resplit aces.
Craps rules are also favorable over the Strip. Instead of the typical 3-4-5 times odds on the Las Vegas Strip, locals casinos will offer 10 or 20 times. The field bet always pays triple on 12.
The locals players clubs are far more generous than the Strip. It is common to receive .3% cash back on slot and video poker play. Comps for free meals and hotel rooms are easy to obtain. A $25 table game player will be treated like he owns the place at most locals casinos. Mailers will often include food and free play vouchers. This level of play will often earn a VIP host.
Video poker pay tables are substantially better at locals casinos in Las Vegas. Nearly all spread full pay Jacks or Better. Almost all games at $.25 denominations and higher return at least 99 percent. All Station Casino properties have video poker machines that spread 100% and higher returns with perfect play and five coins wagered.
Las Vegas Strip casinos typically offer terrible video poker returns. The comp rate on video poker is often .1% or less in cash. Some downtown casinos offer better video. It is often on old coin devices that play much slower than modern ticket games.
Dining is another segment where locals casinos beats Las Vegas Strip resorts for most visitors. While the Strip offers some of the finest restaurants in the world, the prices are outrageous compared to the locals market. Off-strip casinos offer more affordable options. Most have food courts with a variety of quick serve options. These locals casinos tend to also have one high end restaurant with competitive pricing.
There are some advantages to Las Vegas Strip resorts. The high concentration of luxury properties in one area provides an experience that cannot be had anywhere else. High end restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges line the Las Vegas Strip. There are also attractions that include the Bellagio Fountain and the Eiffel Tower.
High volume table game players will find better blackjack games on the Strip. Most high limit blackjack stands on all 17s. Baccarat limits can be well over $10,000. Luxurious high limit salons await these players with host waiting on their every need.
Downtown Las Vegas has its own advantages. It is the Las Vegas version of Bourbon Street. It is one large street party with live music, dancers, street performers and low priced alcohol. At the very least, Las Vegas tourists should visit Fremont Street for a night, even if they decide to stay elsewhere.
The gambling downtown is closer in quality to locals casinos, including the 10 times craps odds spread at Main Street Station. The best video poker machine in the world is located at The D. This Loose Deuces Wild returns 101.6 percent. It is only available in the $.05 denomination on an old school coin machine.